Finlandia Men's Basketball snaps long losing streak

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HANCOCK, Mi. Sophomore Tristan Johnston set two school records as the Finlandia University men’s basketball team (1-20) knocked down Gogebic (6-17) 91-77, Wednesday night at the Paavo Nurmi Center. The win snapped a 47-game losing streak for the Lions.

“Great team win for the boys, they’ve worked hard and deserve it, I love all of them!,” said head coach Sam Casey. “I’d be holding back if I didn’t say a word to our greater Finlandia Family, on behalf of our team: ‘to players, coaches, trainers, staff and fans, both past and present, and to the great support from the students, families, alumni and fans who have been there for us through thick and thin. Tonight’s win is for all of you too!’ Go Lions!”

Finlandia came out quick for a 6-0 lead after three minutes. Gogebic turned around with a 20-5 run to lead 20-11 at the 10:52 mark.

The Lions began to chip away. Junior Dylan Underwood knocked down a 3-pointer from his hometown to close a 18-8 burst. That put FinnU up 29-28 with 5:29 to go. The teams traded buckets and Finlandia led 40-39 at halftime.

The second half was one of runs. The Lions scored the first 10 points to go up 50-39 with 16:19 to go. The Samsons batted back to 55-51 at the 12:49 mark. Up nine with 3:40 to go, Johnston nailed two huge triples a minute apart to seal the game.

The Lions took advantage of 25 Gogebic turnovers to score 29 points. FinnU also had 29 assists, breaking the school record of 25 set against Northland International (Feb. 17, 2007) and Holy Family (Feb. 12, 2019).

For Finlandia, Johnston ended up breaking his own school records with 10 3-pointers made in 15 attempts. He finished with 30 points, shot 10-of-17 from the floor and had nine rebounds. Underwood had 18 points, 11 assists, three steals and hit five triples, sophomore Joe Heinonen had 15 points and freshman Devin Moultrie had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

For Gogebic, Raquentez Woodley had 25 points and nine rebounds and Mitchell Borseth scored 20.

Finlandia hits the road, Saturday, Feb. 15 taking on Holy Family. The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. CST